The Central Texas Mobility Authority says a move by the Texas Transportation Commission to release more than $100 million in federal funding clears the way for the agency to bring traffic congestion relief to northwest Austin.
The TTC authorized the release of $104.2 million in federal funding for the non-tolled portion of the mobility authority’s expansion along a 9-mile stretch of U.S. 183 North from Lakeline Boulevard south to MoPac Expressway.
CTRMA plans to borrow an additional $500 million and fast-track the design and construction of the project, which will expand capacity on what it says is the 74th most congested roadway in the state.
“At the Mobility Authority, we’re focused on addressing the most severe congestion in the region first,” said Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein. “The 183 North Mobility Project will translate to a reliable nine-minute commute — a significant reduction in travel time for commuters using that corridor. And commuters who prefer not to pay a toll will also benefit from the non-tolled components of this project. Building the non-tolled and tolled elements as part of the one project will minimize impacts to the driving public while maximizing cost and construction efficiencies.”
The project will add two tolled express lanes in each direction in the middle of US 183, while the existing US 183 will be expanded to four non-tolled general-purpose lanes in each direction. The project also includes adding a direct connector between the existing express lanes on MoPac and the new express lanes on US 183, allowing for uninterrupted commutes from far north Austin and Williamson County to downtown Austin or beyond.
During planning for the project, the Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation conducted an extensive public input process that led to additional enhancements for the corridor. The project includes a multimillion-dollar investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including two new shared-use path segments near Pond Springs Drive and new sidewalks and cross-street connections for bicycles/pedestrians. There are a number of schools in the immediate area and these facilities will help with safe travel for both students and adults commuting on bikes.
Selection of a contractor to complete final design and construct the roadway will begin this spring. The project is anticipated to break ground in early 2021, and construction along 183 North is expected to last approximately four years.